Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

MSI Unveils DDR2+DDR3 Combo Motherboard

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 22 comments

MSI is reaching out to touch the memory lover in every gamer with two very unique motherboards: the 790GX-8D and the P45-8D. What's so special about these boards? Dual support for DDR2 and DDR3, on the same board.

MSI showcased two amazing motherboards at CeBIT: its AM3 board 790GX-8D featuring the 790GX chipset, and its socket 775 board P45-8D using Intel's P45 +ICH10/ICH10R chipset. What makes these two boards so extremely hot is their huge memory capacity, both offering four DDR2 slots and four DDR3 memory slots. Nicknamed as the "Memory Lover," both utilize MSI's power saving technology APS as well as its "DrMOS" high quality voltage converters.

Out of the two, the 790GX-8D seems a bit more versatile, compatible with AMD's AM3 processors with DDR2-1066 or DDR3-1333 RAM (using bypass) while also capable of supporting the AM2+ CPU with DDR2 RAM. Up until now, you had to choose between DDR2 or DDR3, but not both.

The 790GX-8D also allows overclockers to increase the frequencies at any time using an onboard control dial. Users can even erase the CMOS RAM with the touch of a Reset button or switch into power saving mode by pressing the "Green Power" button.

Additionally, the board offers two PCIe x16 slots, two PCIe x1 slots, and a vanilla PCI slot. Users can easily throw in a CrossFireX configuration using two cards worry-free, and it's even possible to set up a Hybrid CrossFireX configuration using the on-board graphics chipset.

As for the P45-8D, this motherboard is currently on the market, and supports Intel's 45nm and 65nm Core 2 (Extreme) processors. The board offers a 6+2 SATA/Raid for better storage. Although the board features eight memory slots, the maximum amount of memory is only 16 GB. The board has 1 PCIe x16 slot, one PCIe Gen2 (1x16) slot, one PCIe x1 slot, and three vanilla PCI slots. Unfortunately, the P45-8D doesn't support SLI nor does it offer the power saving Green Power Genie as featured on the 790GX-8D.

Although the P45-8D does offer loads of memory, it seems less appealing than MSI's AM3 Memory Lover offering. Still, consumers can pick up the Intel-based board online, retailing between $170 - $350.

Display 22 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 3 Hide
    scarpa , March 7, 2009 1:27 PM
    The AM3 motherboard is very interesting, such a motherboard was needed in the market.

  • -4 Hide
    tonitelaoag , March 7, 2009 1:36 PM
    intel base board is poor in overclocking
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 7, 2009 1:50 PM
    im looking forward for the 6 core opteron version using am3 socket and supporting ddr3 1333+ memory .... hopefully it will compete with the i7 or even i5 ... maybe the probe filter is the new tech implemented to gain advantage.

    cant wait
  • 1 Hide
    The_Blood_Raven , March 7, 2009 2:19 PM
    Didn't nVidia make some boards that did both DDR2 and DDR3?
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , March 7, 2009 2:46 PM
    ASRock did only better where you don't have to worry about individual dimms. With this it seems you are restricted to 4 dimms oout of 8.
  • 2 Hide
    Claimintru , March 7, 2009 5:14 PM
    This board is absolutely useless. If you're in the market for a new board, you're either going to buy the newest which supports the new processor sockets and DDR3, or you're going to buy middle quality (Which by all means is still great especially for gaming) that supports DDR2 and the Previous gen Core2Quads/Duos etc.
  • 0 Hide
    jhansonxi , March 7, 2009 5:23 PM
    I agree with Claimintru. Every time there is a memory tech change you see companies trying to push these hybrid boards. The first one I saw was a SIMM & DIMM combo and even with the cost of memory back then it was of questionable value.
  • 3 Hide
    Mitrovarr , March 7, 2009 7:47 PM
    The AMD board seems like a very situational item. The design compromises and cost increase inherent in such a design will likely make it impractical to build a new computer with AM2/DDR2 equipment with the intention of later upgrading to AM3/DDR3. The cost premium you'll pay for a motherboard like this is probably nearly as much as the price premium for just buying the AM3/DDR3 equipment now.

    The best use of a board like this, in my opinion, if is you already have the AM2 processor and DDR2 memory, but need a new motherboard (yours failed or you just don't like it.) If that was true, you could get this motherboard, use your current CPU/RAM until it didn't have enough performance to make you happy, and then upgrade. You'll still be stuck with a board that wastes lots of space on tons of ram slots, but it would still probably be worth it.

    The Intel board seems even less useful. Is it really a good idea to pay a premium (in money and board real estate) for the ability to upgrade to DDR3 later? As I understand it, the performance increase you get from DD3 on the Core 2 architecture just isn't all that great. Also, the cost increase on DDR3 ram isn't all that high anymore, and the motherboard will probably cost more than an equivalent motherboard without the feature. The i7 has relegated the P45 to the low to mid end of the market anyway - if you are building a new intel machine that isn't an i7, you probably won't be buying all that much ram or especially fast ram, so you could probably just spend the extra money a motherboard like this will demand and just buy the DDR3 right away. I guess it could be useful if you had a bunch of DDR2 lying around and wanted to use it for now while upgrading later, but it just doesn't seem worth it. I'd probably just keep using the DDR2 in that situation and save up for an eventual upgrade to a later platform.
  • 0 Hide
    LATTEH , March 7, 2009 10:28 PM
    i think i may buy the AM3 one!!! that is awsome!
  • -1 Hide
    apache_lives , March 7, 2009 10:35 PM
    heh more slots = less stability/performance etc and its not as if you can combind DDR2 with DDR3

    another MSI gimmick
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 7, 2009 10:52 PM
    Quote:
    What makes these two boards so extremely hot is their huge memory capacity, both offering four DDR2 slots and four DDR3 memory slots
    .

    Does that mean 8GB+16GB=24GB of RAM? Or is DDR2 ram incompatible to run together with DDR3?

    If that's the case then there's no reason to buy this board, but stick with a DDR3 board, especially if they exist for Dore2Duo and Corei7 boards.
    Yes, it'd make more sence to put a dualsocket on that board, with a Core i7 and Core2duo; or perhaps equip the board with 8 or 9 DDR3 slots (36GB RAM max)
  • 0 Hide
    honolululu , March 7, 2009 11:44 PM
    The_Blood_RavenDidn't nVidia make some boards that did both DDR2 and DDR3?


    Gigabyte did. Like the GA-P35C-DS3R.

  • 0 Hide
    justsomeone , March 8, 2009 12:22 AM
    I have that Gigabyte board (GA-P35C-DS3R) and overall really like it. Bought it several months ago when DDR3 was still super expensive. No problems at all but I haven't tried DDR3 on it yet.
  • 0 Hide
    jaragon13 , March 8, 2009 12:48 AM
    apache_livesheh more slots = less stability/performance etc and its not as if you can combind DDR2 with DDR3another MSI gimmick

    GDIAF.
  • 0 Hide
    Gazz , March 9, 2009 1:54 AM
    Its funny how you can find all information on the Intel version of the P45-8D memory lover but the one thats the better out of the two doesnt exist 790GX-8D is not listed on the MSI web site
    I went to get some further information and ZIPPO nil zilch diddly squot
    I wonder if they will bring out a 790fx-8d with 4 pcie slots or isnt the boad big enough to put 8mem and 4pcie
    then all I have to do is switch boards from my K9A2 Platinum
  • 1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , March 9, 2009 12:17 PM
    I don't see the news in this? It seems like ages ago (Q3-07) that I installed a ga-p35c-ds3r board in a system I was building for someone. And that one had both ddr2 and ddr3 already .... now we've got 2009 ...
  • -1 Hide
    xizel , March 9, 2009 2:04 PM
    i dont understand, can we use DDR3 and DDR2 at the same time????
  • 0 Hide
    deredita , March 9, 2009 2:34 PM
    This is stupid. From what I am reading here, you can only use 4-slots of either DDR2 OR DDR3 memory, but not both at the same time. If they wanted to make a true "Memory Lover" series motherboard, why not just offer an 8-slot DDR3 motherboard for AM3, and 9-slot DDR3 motherboard for x58? Then users could have an AMD motherboard that takes a maximum of 32GB DDR3 in dual-channel, and Intel Core i7 users could have a motherboard that takes a max of 36GB DDR3 in Tri-channel.
    Overkill? Yes, but that's why they call it the "Memory Lovers" series. What MSI did is an example of "You're doing it wrong." Why did they waster the R&D on such a motherboard. I can't see buyers opting for this is they can only use one or the other.
  • 0 Hide
    deredita , March 9, 2009 2:36 PM
    dereditaThis is stupid. From what I am reading here, you can only use 4-slots of either DDR2 OR DDR3 memory, but not both at the same time. If they wanted to make a true "Memory Lover" series motherboard, why not just offer an 8-slot DDR3 motherboard for AM3, and 9-slot DDR3 motherboard for x58? Then users could have an AMD motherboard that takes a maximum of 32GB DDR3 in dual-channel, and Intel Core i7 users could have a motherboard that takes a max of 36GB DDR3 in Tri-channel. Overkill? Yes, but that's why they call it the "Memory Lovers" series. What MSI did is an example of "You're doing it wrong." Why did they waster the R&D on such a motherboard. I can't see buyers opting for this is they can only use one or the other.


    Obviously 4GB DIMMS are outrageously expensive, but 2GB DIMMS are more than affordable on both platforms. Most buyers will be able to configure my above suggestions at: 16GB DDR3 for AM3 platform, and 18GB DDR3 for the x58 platform. I am sure that would get a lot of memory lovers like me excited.
  • 0 Hide
    xizel , March 9, 2009 2:41 PM
    if you cant use both at the same time what is new about this?
    asus has a g35 product like this!!!
Display more comments